Blog: Living the Dream

How to Pick the Right Contractor for Your Pool and Patio Remodeling

Whether your pool or patio area is starting to require more maintenance than you would like to put into it, you are looking for a more energy efficient design, or you just are ready to update or modernize your outdoor space, finding the right contractor for your remodeling job can be the deciding factor in whether you get the new space you have been dreaming about or end up with a space that does not meet your wants and needs. Since choosing the right contractor for the project is one of the most vital decisions, following the advice below will help you pick the right contractor for your pool and patio remodel.


Verify Their Reputation

The right contractor will have an impeccable reputation when it comes to their work, especially in the Richmond, VA area. Their fairness, their honesty, and their ability to meet deadlines. Check out customer reviews and ask your contractor for references that you can contact. A quality contractor will have these available as they have confidence in their work and the customer satisfaction that they provide.


Gauge Their Attention to Detail

When deciding on the right contractor for your project, it is essential to find someone who is keen on details. It is these little details that can make the difference between a good project and a fantastic project and a quality contractor will make sure to address details in everything that they do. When discussing your remodeling project see if they try to get the details and information they will need to fulfill your wants properly. They should not be dismissive or rush through the initial discussion.


Research Their Experience

If your contractor claims to have experience, licensing, or certifications that make them the best choice for the job don’t hesitate to research them. If you are unsure about the experience they have in dealing with pool and patio remodeling projects that may be similar to yours, be sure to ask them. Contractors gain some of the best knowledge from their experience and the more experience they have with similar projects, the more likely they are to know common problems that may arise or the best solutions for achieving the desired design.


Review Their Portfolio

Once you have narrowed down your contractor options by contacting references and researching their background and experience, ask to see a portfolio of their work. Aesthetics and ideas of quality can vary from person to person so by reviewing some of their recent work you can decide if their visions and your visions can align. This is also an excellent way to get a feel for how they make use of space and what types of design elements they focus on.


Visit a Completed Project and an Uncompleted Jobsite

A contractor’s portfolio will always be filled with their best photos of patios and pools they’ve completed. These photos will never show any flaws and may be taken at a distance, hiding the fine details. Seeing a finished patio and pool project for yourself allows you to see the contractor’s work up close to inspect the details of their craftsmanship (or lack thereof). Asking to see a project that’s over a year old will also give you a better sense of their foundational work. If their projects are settling noticeably after only a year or two, you can be sure that their foundation work is subpar and their projects are not built to last.

Because the longevity of your outdoor structures rest in their foundations, be sure to request a visit to an uncompleted job site. All contractors say they build it the right way, but because the majority of Outdoor Living construction goes uninspected, it’s up to you to hold them accountable. Educate yourself on the proper build practices of the structures you want and visit a jobsite to inspect the contractor’s work for yourself. A visit to an open jobsite may reveal a lot of common shortcuts and improper build practices.  

You Should Always Be a Part of the Team

A good contractor will have you involved from start to finish, not only to make sure that you are elated with the final product but to ensure that you understand and are comfortable with every step of the process. While it is always essential to make sure your contractor is clear on the level of involvement you would like to have on the project, they should also make you feel as though your input is not only welcomed but a crucial part of the process. Your contractor should:


Prepare You for the Upcoming Project

Your builder should discuss the various build practices and construction options that they plan to employ for your pool or patio remodeling project and discuss with you what each process entails and why they feel it is the best option. After determining the methods that they will employ to implement your wants they should go over with you the total costs and the amount of the investment that the remodel will entail. This should include a detailed cost analysis so that you are aware of all the costs associated with it and why they are necessary to the project. After this stage of the process is complete you should feel confident with your builder and the overall plan.


Help Guide You Through the Design Plan

There is no better person to communicate your wants and needs for your patio or pool design than yourself. The contractor’s goal should not be to change your design to fit what they feel will work best, but guide you through the design process so that you can understand what each piece of design will entail from a building perspective and help come up with the right design together. The contractor should provide you with the available options that they can use to make your design a reality, collaborate with you to help ensure that you are getting the final product you want in the end, help to keep your design within the parameters of your budget, and guide you on issues that may cause you to exceed your desired investment amount.


Turn Your Patio and Pool Remodel Dream Into Your Reality

The ultimate goal of any contractor should be to provide you with what you want and strive to have the best customer satisfaction possible. This usually includes employing an onsite project manager who will keep the project on schedule, keep it within budget, and make sure that your desired design is implemented to the standards you require. This manager should act as a liaison between you and the project so that you will not be bogged down with unnecessary details. You should receive a weekly progress report and be notified of any possible delays, setbacks, or necessary changes immediately so that you can stay in control of your project at all times. Once the project is completed, your contractor should guarantee their craftsmanship with warranties or project guarantees to make sure you are satisfied with your final project and that they have achieved the goal of turning your dream space into a reality you can enjoy.

Your pool and patio remodeling project should be a collaborative effort between you and your contractor to ensure that your quality standards are met, and the work achieves your ultimate vision. By doing your proper diligence and selecting a contractor that can meet your needs during the design and production stage of your project will ensure you end up with the pool and patio that you dreamed from the start. If you are looking for a quality contractor that has the experience, the reputation, and skills to oversee your project from inception to completion, contact Outdoor Dreams today to schedule your initial consultation.

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About The Author

Thomas Welker

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